Veganism is not a cult, extreme or for the elites. | The low down on veganism.

 Contrary to popular belief, vegans don't look like this! (we are smiling though)

Con­trary to pop­ular belief, vegans don’t look like this! (we are smil­ing though)

Hi there,

If you think vegan­ism is all about salads, defi­cien­cies and food sham­ing, you have got the wrong end of the stick, but that’s okay. I’m here to help you out if you’re will­ing to listen.

Now, I don’t know exactly what comes to your mind when you hear the word vegan, but 2 years ago I thought it was the weirdest thing on the plan­et. To be hon­est, I didn’t know much about it and there was no one around me that had a dif­fer­ent diet. We all ate the same greasy food and bon­ded over our love of gar­lic bread and chick­en kiev.

The thing is, when you don’t fully under­stand some­thing it is com­mon­place to reject the idea straight away or dis­miss it as it is unachiev­able. But hear me out, what is the issue with being informed? Why are we scared of know­ing? Why do we pur­pose­fully keep ourselves in the dark? Know­ledge is power. We know this yet we still shy away from it. Not all vegans are the angry viol­ent people you see on your Face­book feed once a month. It is not some insane cult where we eat grass and sit med­it­at­ing for 24 hours a day nor is it for people who are will­ing to spend £100 at Whole­foods. Most of us are just your aver­age day Joe’s who feel enlightened now that we have taken con­trol of our health. Vegan­ism is truly for all, people like you and me. Spoil­er: On your jour­ney to health, there is no quick fix for years of dam­age, no pill or pro­duct you can buy -tak­ing respons­ib­il­ity for your health and know­ing you are in con­trol is an awaken­ing pro­cess — both beau­ti­ful, scary and evolving. But before we delve any fur­ther, let’s cla­ri­fy a few things.

Foods that are accidentally vegan will become your best friend! @accidentallyveganuk

Foods that are acci­dent­ally vegan will become your best friend! @accidentallyveganuk

What exactly is a vegan?

A vegan is someone who does not con­sume any anim­al products or its by-products, in short — no meat, eggs, dairy, hon­ey, leather, silk or anim­al-tested-on products. Take a breather, you can still eat (+ wear) so many things — Oreos, Lotus Bis­cuits, Pea­nut But­ter, Crisps, Bour­bons, Fox’s Dark Chocol­ate Chip Cook­ies + Hob­nobs Chocol­ate Chips are vegan. You also can become more adven­tur­ous with cashew cheese, auber­gine bacon, len­til sloppy joes, pulled jack­fruit bur­ger … the list goes on.

Why do people decide to go vegan?

The 3 main reas­ons why people go vegan are: the anim­als, the plan­et and their health. Some vegans see the effect the anim­al farm­ing industry has on anim­als — the unne­ces­sary death of beings that are sen­tient (able to feel) and under­stand, the cruelty and tor­ture so com­mon­place in the fact­ory farm­ing industry + the destruc­tion of hab­it­ats and nature. Oth­ers gear towards vegan­ism because of the sim­ple fact that we are killing this plan­et – from the fish dead zones to defor­est­a­tion to meth­ane and pol­lu­tion, the list is end­less. The last group go vegan for their health — incor­por­at­ing more plants and raw foods, from the extra nutri­ents, added fiber and whole­grain foods, into their diet is only bene­fi­cial. But also the elim­in­a­tion of meat, dairy and eggs means the elim­in­a­tion of cho­les­ter­ol and all that added sodi­um. You know when your par­ents told you to “Eat your veg­gies”, going vegan is like hav­ing veg­gies at every meal –  no that doesn’t mean hav­ing salad 24/7, it could be a mock meat bur­ger from mush­rooms, Mex­ic­an bean tacos or a burrito, Indi­an dishes, Thai curry, jack­fruit BBQ.

 Berry + Chocolate cheesecake @piadinagenuina

Berry + Chocol­ate cheese­cake @piadinagenuina

Raw Lasagne @namafoods

Raw Lasag­ne @namafoods

Going vegan for me opened up so many doors, the biggest one being I nev­er actu­ally knew what I was put­ting in my mouth. No clue. I hardly read labels and failed to under­stand how power­ful the item on the end of my fork can be. I write this today, for you, in the hopes that you start this jour­ney of enlight­en­ment + health soon­er. Don’t be over­whelmed, it’s a day by day jour­ney. You will be amazed at what you find (spoil­er: vegan keb­ab, ribs, bur­gers, fried chick­en, cakes, cheese­cake, brownie, sand­wiches, wraps, BBQ wing) and what you can make (Mac n Cheese, cauli­flower wings, quinoa pizza, cashew cheese sauce + moz­zarel­la, cheese slices, raw brownies + cakes, pea­nut but­ter muffins). The world is truly your kit­chen.

BBQ Burnt Ends, Mac N Cheese + Bacon Crumbles @lazyboykitchen

BBQ Burnt Ends, Mac N Cheese + Bacon Crumbles @lazyboykitchen

Fried Chicken, Mac N Cheese, Buffalo Wings @templeofseitan

Fried Chick­en, Mac N Cheese, Buf­falo Wings @templeofseitan

If there is one thing you take from this art­icle, it is that vegan­ism is for all. Do not listen to the media, the pre­con­cep­tions or the memes (as funny as they may be), do you research. Begin your jour­ney to enlight­en­ment, cre­ativ­ity and fun!

Love,

Omo Eats (Mac N Cheese every­day)

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Omolade Ojo
Omol­ade Ojo is a Nigeri­an vegan pas­sion­ate about bring­ing con­scious eat­ing and nutri­tion to the minds and hearts of all young people. Hav­ing made the trans­ition a year ago, she became the founder of Our Vegan Cook­book, a page ded­ic­ated to show­cas­ing that vegan­ism is much sim­pler and access­ible than the media por­trays. Her blog ‘Omo Eats’ show­cases vegan pro­duct reviews, begin­ner tips and thought pro­vok­ing art­icles.

About Omolade Ojo

Omolade Ojo
Omolade Ojo is a Nigerian vegan passionate about bringing conscious eating and nutrition to the minds and hearts of all young people. Having made the transition a year ago, she became the founder of Our Vegan Cookbook, a page dedicated to showcasing that veganism is much simpler and accessible than the media portrays. Her blog ‘Omo Eats’ showcases vegan product reviews, beginner tips and thought provoking articles.